Environmental Business Alert: End-of-Year Deadline to Nominate Existing Chemicals for Taiwan Inventory Nears

Date: Sep 20, 2010

Companies that currently or intend to manufacture chemicals in or import chemicals into Taiwan should bear in mind an important end-of-the year deadline for nominating existing chemicals under Taiwan's chemical control law.

In late 2009, the Council of Labor Affairs of Taiwan's Executive Yuan (CLA) finalized Guidelines for Existing Chemical Substance Nomination (ECN) and New Chemical Notification. The intent of this regulation is to compile an inventory of existing substances that have been manufactured in or imported into Taiwan; establish a new chemical notification scheme; formally implement and strengthen the introduction of the Global Harmonized Classification System; and ensure consistency and compliance.

All chemical substances (including polymers) that have been manufactured in or imported into Taiwan between January 1, 1993 and December 31, 2010 are eligible for nomination under the ECN program. The nomination period began in late 2009 and is drawing to a close – the nomination period formally ends on December 31, 2010, with publication of the existing chemicals inventory currently scheduled for June 2011.

With respect to nomination of existing chemical substances, domestic manufacturers and importers may nominate chemical substances as well as non-Taiwanese based companies that export their products to Taiwan. Nominators must provide the following to the ECN Coordinator:

  • General information of the company and a contact person, including all the contact details;
  • Chemical Abstract Services (CAS) Registry Number;
  • Chinese and English names of chemical substance and other commonly used names; and
  • Tonnage band manufactured or imported. Six tonnage bands are set based on the average quantity of production/import in the three years prior to notification:

o more than 1000 ton/year;

o 100 to 1000 MT/year;

o 10 to 100 MT/year;

o 1 to 10 MT/year;

o 10 to 1000 kg/year and (0.01-1MT/year); or

o less than 10 kg/year.

If no CAS Number exists for the substance one need not be obtained or reported; in this case a "serial number" will be assigned by the Safety and Health Technology Center of Taiwan (SAHTEC) after completion of the nomination. General company information regarding nominators and the quantity of production or import will be automatically treated as confidential and will not be publicly accessible. If certain conditions are met, nominators also may request protection of the CAS Number and chemical name of a nominated substance. A confidentiality period runs for five years and can only be extended for one additional five-year term. No fees are required to nominate chemical substances to the Inventory. The nomination tools and confidentiality forms are available at http://csnn.cla.gov.tw/content/englishHome.aspx. English instructions can be located beneath the Chinese language instructions under the "Guidelines" tab.

After electronically submitting the nomination file to ecncla@mail.cla.gov.tw, a hard copy (together with confidentiality claims, if any) must also be printed out, signed and mailed to the Coordinator at the following address: National Chemical Substance Registration Office (NCSR) 3F., No.41, Fuqian 4th St. Anping Dist., Tainan City 708, Taiwan.

Through Keller and Heckman LLP's Shanghai representative office, we stand ready to assist your company in navigating and successfully completing the notification process. Specifically, with the Chinese-language capabilities of our Shanghai staff, we can easily provide Chinese chemical names, as are required for existing chemicals notification in Taiwan.

For more information, please contact: Thomas C. Berger at (202) 434-4285 or berger@khlaw.com, or Wilfred Feng at 86 21 6335-1000 or feng@khlaw.cn.